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We’re thrilled to welcome the newest cohort of graduate students to campus this week! Danielle Blumhardt, Destiny Meadows, and Mary Shannon come from diverse backgrounds and each has a wide range of research interests. Their knowledge and skills will undoubtedly intersect with ongoing projects in the department and push us in new directions as well. Get to know a little bit more about each of these scholars below.

Danielle BlumhardtDanielle Blumhardt

Musician, arranger, and writer, Danielle Blumhardt holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Cello Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied under cellists Stephen Geber and Dr. Melissa Kraut and graduated with Academic Honors. As a researcher, Danielle’s work has explored the intersection of queer/trans cultural production, virtual community formation, and musical resistance to capitalist hegemony. Her other research interests include experimental industrial/noise musics, the processes of genre creation and policing, Marxist aesthetic methodologies, and ludomusicology. Also an accomplished performer of various Western art music disciplines, Danielle, as soloist and chamber musician, has concertized across the country from historic halls — such as the Kennedy Center, the Symphony Center, Severance Hall, and Carnegie Hall — to renowned festivals and residencies — including the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, Madeline Island Chamber Music, Centrum Chamber Music, the Schubert Club, and the Cleveland Chamber Music Society. Danielle is also a prizewinner of the Fischoff, WDAV, and New York International Artists Competitions and has performed alongside prominent solo and chamber musicians, such as members of the St. Lawrence and Juilliard Quartets. A passionate advocate for the performance of contemporary classical music, she has collaborated with some of the foremost composers of our time, including Yu-Hui Chang, Keith Fitch, Jeffrey Mumford, and Andrew Norman. Alongside her musicological research, Danielle continues to perform and arrange a varied repertoire, from George Crumb’s Black Angels and Kaija Saariaho’s Sept Papillons to the music of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series.

Destiny MeadowsDestiny Meadows

Destiny Meadows holds a master’s degree in musicology from the University of Miami, where her research centered on music and advocacy at the height of United States HIV/AIDS epidemic and gender and sexuality in jazz communities. She received her bachelor’s degree from Furman University in clarinet performance, where she was active in orchestras and chamber groups throughout the Charleston and Greenville areas. She has presented research at the 2021 International Music, Sound, and Trauma: Interdisciplinary Perspectives conference, the Harvard Graduate Music Forum, and the Southeast Chapter of the American Musicological Society. Her current interests include musical materiality and ephemera of the Eastern Bloc, and the music of new religious movements in the US.

Mary ShannonMary Shannon

Originally from Charlotte, NC, Mary Shannon (1st-year graduate student) holds a double Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in Music and Linguistics from the College of William and Mary. Her current research interests broadly include music of the 19th and 20th centuries, linguistics/discourse analysis, gender and sexuality, and identity construction. Her undergraduate Honors Thesis, “Dame Ethel Smyth and The Prison: Gender, Sexuality, and the ‘Bonds of Self,’” explored the representations of lesbian desire and female identity in Smyth’s last major work. Mary has presented some of her work at the William & Mary Research Symposium (2018, 2020) and the MUSE Undergraduate Research Journal Conference (2021, publication forthcoming).


Read more about all of the current graduate students.

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